Performance Reviews are an amazing time to focus on your professional development. Here are three strategies to make the most of them.
1 – Listen. Naturally, there will be positive and negative feedback shared during your performance review. And you may want to figure out who said that about you or what situation someone was referring to which lead to that feedback. It’s important to stay in the moment and listen. Take it in, process and revisit later if needed. If you feel that in your review there’s a situation that wasn’t accurately represented, there are two ways you can respond: (1) ask your manager for advice for how you could have better shown up in that situation and (2) share your intentions and present solutions for how you could have handled it better. Remember your review is about YOU, not what others have done to you. Keep it focused on how you handled yourself, how you could have been better. Feedback is a gift, use it to understand what your work perception. And improve it!
2 – Develop. Many companies have great development opportunities that employees may not take full advantage. Your performance review is a great time to learn what they are and how you can take advantage of them. Focus on your development and how your manager and company can contribute to your professional development.
3 – Negotiate. Congratulations if you are getting a promotion and/or raise. Be grateful that your company appreciates you. But don’t be afraid to negotiate. Ask for more money (and demonstrate the value and contributions you have made to your company). If you can’t negotiate what you want during your performance review, share that, “this raise/promotion is not in line with the value you bring.” Your manager may have authority to give you a raise of $X and will need to get approval for anything above that. Schedule a follow-up meeting to allow for your manager to have the needed conversations and offer to provide your manager with anything that can aid her/him in their negotiation with leadership. If they can’t hit your number, understand what is needed to get that promotion, co-create a development plan with your manager/HR and schedule a mid-year review in 6 months to formalize progress and re-commit to what is needed.
Ultimately, you want to be at a company that is helping you develop into the best you can be. If your company is not invested in your development, own it yourself, and look for people, and possibly a new company, which will support your development.